PY0302 - Academic Skills for Psychologists

What will I learn on this module?

On this module you will learn academic skills that will assist your learning and development on this programme and your future degree. The skills you acquire will also be transferable to enhance your employability.

You will be introduced to the learning resources that are available to support you. Using these resources you will learn how to conduct effective bibliographic searches and how to evaluate the credibility of the sources. You will learn about the sections of a journal article and how to read journal articles effectively. You will explore what it means to be a critical thinker and begin to learn how to evaluate information. You will focus on writing skills – essay writing and writing for different audiences – and learn the processes involved including referencing and how to avoid plagiarism. You will be introduced to the University’s Assessment for Learning policy and how assessment criteria and feedback can be used to help you develop your skills. Integrated within this you will develop your understanding of research by learning and reading about research, taking part in research studies and reflecting on research activities.

How will I learn on this module?

On this module you will learn by engaging in interactive seminars which focus on problem-based learning, along with directed study and independent study. The interactive seminars will typically involve a tutor-led discussion of academic, practical and transferable skills where you will be introduced to key concepts, and given a task or problem to work on (either individually or working in a group). This interactive style of teaching is designed to ensure deep learning of material, as well as development and practice of the academic skills necessary to pursue a degree in psychology. Tutorials will be available to provide you with an opportunity to discuss topics with a member of the module staff.

You will also be encouraged to engage in directed study, such as searching for bibliographic information, evaluating it, writing text with accompanying referencing and submitting to TurnItIn (the Plagiarism Detection Service).

The module will employ technology enhanced learning tools such as the eLearning Portal (an online application where you can access information about your programme and modules), electronic reading lists, lecture capture and online submission and feedback tools to support your learning.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported academically by your module tutors who will make a variety of resources available for you. The materials used in the taught sessions will be available to you via the eLearning Portal. These materials will include the PowerPoint slides, workshop materials and links to further reading. There will also be a variety of other resources available on the eLearning Portal that will support your studies. These include reading lists, and further activities. Discussion boards will also be available to you, allowing you to post questions and queries for other students and staff members to answer, to enhance peer-support and collegiality. You will also be able to access recordings of some sessions via the eLearning Portal. Tutorials with staff can provide an opportunity for students to discuss issues related to the module.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• KU1: You will show an understanding of good practice in academic writing, through learning about appropriate referencing
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• IPSA1: You will be able to retrieve, comprehend and evaluate relevant information from a range of sources.
• IPSA2: You will develop your written communication skills in order to convey psychological information to various audiences.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• PVA1: You will develop values of a psychology undergraduate, enabling you to work effectively in teams and organise and manage your own time

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assessment
Each of the interactive sessions will enable you to complete tasks pertinent to the summative assessment.

Summative Assessment
This will be a portfolio of work comprising of three practical tasks, each of around 500 words (KU1; IPSA1; IPSA2; PVA1)

Oral feedback will be provided on the formative tasks as they are undertaken.
Individual feedback on the summative assessment will be provided online via the electronic submission portal. A summary of general feedback will also be provided on the eLP.





Module abstract

On this module you will learn academic and practical skills that will assist your learning and development on this programme and your future degree. Through interactive learning sessions you will learn how to conduct bibliographic searches, critically evaluate findings and present written information to various audiences in an appropriate format. By working in groups and independently you will learn how to liaise with others and manage your time. The skills you acquire will be of value to you as a psychology student and they will also be transferable to enhance your employability.

Course info

UCAS Code C801

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 1 year Full Time followed by a further 3 year or 4 years full-time study

Department Psychology

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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